The wait seemed interminable. But Muttiah Muralitharan achieved the magical figures of 800 Test wickets in his retirement Test as Sri Lanka were once again thrust into victory, this time against the no.1 Test team in the world in the closing stages of the fifth day’s play.
Following India’s debacle in the first innings when they were bowled out for 276 despite Virender Sehwag’s century in response to Sri Lanka’s first innings total of 520 for six declared, Sri Lanka made the obvious decision to make India follow on even as Muralitharan completed yet another five-for in his illustrious career.
Once again Gautam Gambhir became Lasith Malinga’s bunny. But India had their hopes pinned high for a draw based on the 119 run partnership for the third wicket between Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. While the stalwarts stalled matters, Muralitharan was chugging for the three wickets that would get him to the 800 mark.
Tendulkar missed his own century by sixteen runs, while Dravid fell to Malinga for forty-four thereby, breaking India’s resistance. Overnight on 181 for five, India did not look to stand a chance with only V.V.S. Laxman standing. Malinga picked up his personal five-for of the match, but the final wicket to fall and Muralitharan’s 800th held up matters for the betetr part of the day.
Laxman and Ishant Sharma delayed the inevitable for sixty-eight runs. Eventually Murali was not to be denied, Pragyan Ojha falling victim as Mahela Jayawardene took the 77th catch off Muralitharan’s bowling, as India eventually succumbed on 338. What the tail did though was hang around long enough to avoid an innings defeat ignominy for the no.1 team.
Instead Sri Lanka were left to chase ninety-five runs, achieved successfully by the half century marker, Tillekeratne Dilshan in company with Tharanga Paravitana as Sri Lanka won the first Test at the Galle International Stadium by 10 wickets.
Muttiah Muralitharan Celebrates his 800th Test Wicket – Picture Gallery
Ind SL T2 Day 3 Lunch: Murali on 795 Wickets, India in Deep Trouble at 260/8
Ind SL T1 Day 3 Tea: Ishant Sharma Shines But Malinga-Herath Lead SL to 520/8
ICC President Salutes Muttiah Muralitharan
Ishant’s Battling for Confidence, Claims Indian coach
Kirsten Expresses Concerns over World Cup 2011, Indicates Irfan Pathan is Out
Kirsten Says Harbhajan Had to Play Despite the Flu For Lack of Bowling Options
Ind SL T1 Day 2: Action at Tea Time…Only for Groundstaff
Galle Promises More Rain, Moody Weather
Ind SL T1 Day 1 Stumps: Sangakkara, Paranavitana Tons Expose India’s Seam Problems
Srikkanth States No Zonal Bias to Selection to Indian Team; Captaincy Grooming Relevant
Ind SL T1 Preview: Dhoni Promises No Concessions for Murali for Farewell Test
Why did SLC Fail to Prevail Upon BCCI, Indian Cricket Team for UDRS?
Ajantha Mendis’s Six-For Leaves India in a Spin at Stumps; Proves a Point to Selectors
Three Tons and Partnerships put SL BP XI On Top As Indians Totter without Zaheer, Sreesanth
Munaf Patel Named as Sreesanth’s Replacement for India’s tour of Sri Lanka
Bacher Says Azhar and Co. Wary of Using TV Umpire Technology; Sangakkara Wants UDRS
Highest Paid Cricketer, Dhoni, Inks Rs200 Crores Deal, Tendulkar Surpassed
Sangakkara Talks of Balanced FTPs; Reveals SL’s Lack of Tests, Wants IPL Window
Dhoni Inks Rs200 Crores Deal with Rhiti Sports, Surpasses Tendulkar’s Rs180 crore deal
Sreesanth Joins Zaheer’s Injury List, Flies Back Home from Sri Lanka Before Series
Bhajji Stuck at Airport; Dhoni Presented with MCC Membership..all in Chennai
Sri Lanka Name Squad Against India, Including Team for Board President’s XI Tour Match
Murali Says Only Bhajji can Match Him; Bhajji Says, Flattered But not Possible
UDRS Controversy: India Reject UDRS for Test series
India’s Tour of Sri Lanka Schedule, Results
Murali Prepones Retirement, Says His Time has Passed, Moves Over for Youngsters
Zaheer’s Injury Rules him Out of Series against Sri Lanka; Abhimanyu Mithun Drafted In